Tag Archives: Lead poisoning prevention

7 Fast Facts about Lead during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, recognized October 20-26, 2019, was created to increase awareness about lead poisoning prevention and decreasing potential exposure to lead. This year’s theme is “Get the Facts, Get Your Home Tested, Get Your Child Tested.” According to the 2018 South Carolina State Health Assessment, 36,083 children were tested for childhood lead poisoning, representing a 15.6% increase from 2013. The main sources of lead in South Carolina are related to contaminated soil or dust and chipping lead-based paint in older homes.

Here are some facts about lead and lead poisoning

  1. Lead, a naturally occurring metal, can be found in homes built before 1978 (when lead-based paints were banned). When the paint peels and cracks, lead dust is created. Children can be poisoned if they swallow or breathe that dust.
  2. Lead can also be found in certain water pipes, toys, jewelry, and imported candies.
  3. Occupations and hobbies that involve working with lead-based products, like stained glass work, may cause adults to bring lead into their homes.
  4. Lead poisoning is 100% preventable. Blood lead tests determine if you or your child have been exposed to lead.
  5. There is no cure for lead poisoning. That is why preventing exposure to lead, especially among children, is important. Finding and removing sources of lead from the child’s environment is needed to prevent further exposure. While there is no cure, parents can help reduce the effects of lead by talking to their doctor and getting connected to learning, nutritional, and behavioral programs as soon as possible. Finding and removing the sources of lead from your environment is necessary to prevent further exposure.
  6. Long term effects of lead poisoning may include: brain damage, loss of IQ points, learning disabilities, developmental delay, and behavioral and attention problems.
  7. Lead-safe certified contractors can safely renovate your home. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for more information about the Renovation, Repair and Painting Program.

Lead poisoning along with other toxic substances within our homes and communities impact our health and safety. For more information about where to find lead and ways to prevent exposure, visit www.scdhec.gov/lead.

Look Out for Potential Lead Exposure During National Healthy Homes Month

June is National Healthy Homes Month, and this year’s theme is “Growing Up Safe and Healthy: 5 Minutes to a Healthy Home.”  Use this month to focus on protecting current and future generations of children from the exposures of lead from contaminated paint, dust, and soil.  A thorough home assessment can deeply impact your health.

Lead Poisoning Infographic

The Healthy Homes Do-It-Yourself Assessment Tool walks users through each room and provides a simple, low and no-cost solution to many common healthy housing problems.  Learn more about creating a healthy home at www.HUD.gov/HealthyHomes.

If you have questions about lead prevention, please call 1.866.4NOLEAD or 1.866.466.5353.

Teamwork leads to vital finding in unique lead case

By Cassandra Harris
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Today, childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children. Yet, approximately 500,000 U.S. children between the ages of 1-5 have blood-lead levels above the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) action level of 5 micrograms per deciliter.

In the State of South Carolina, all blood-lead levels are required by law to be reported to DHEC.  Committed to reducing the risks of lead exposure, DHEC’s Division of Children’s Health, in conjunction with the Bureau of Environmental Health Services, follows up on cases that indicate elevated blood-lead levels, providing home investigation and assessments as necessary. Recently, this team’s collaborative and persistent efforts provided a successful determination of a lead source, and a very positive outcome for a local family.

In response to a referral from the Division of Children’s Health, regarding significantly elevated blood-lead levels of children in a non-English speaking Midlands family household, Barbara Charles, a bilingual nurse, accompanied the Bureau of Environmental Health Services certified lead risk assessor, Richard Turner, to inspect the residence. Continue reading